Flower beds - filling the gaps

Posted on: 02 July 2019 by 50connect editorial

High summer can expose some of your planting oversights - so if there are dull spots in your garden, consider filling those spots with colour.

flower bed dug up by dog

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry - this is very true of your summer planting plans. Finding dull spots in your beds where you thought you'd planted or had a plant unseated by a pets digging, can be a bit frustrating when the rest of your garden is at its beautiful summer best. With everything else pretty much in full bloom, dull spots can be a magnet to your eye. That said, it is an easyt fix as there is a whole host of bedding plants are available in garden centres and these flowering annuals will supply you with bright flowers all through the season.

Prepare the soil as you would for any annual garden, by digging in an inch or so of organic matter and about two pounds of 5-10-10 per 100 square feet, or use encapsulated slow-release fertilisers for season-long feeding.

Many bedding plants come in light plastic cell packs nowadays. Plants are easily removed by pushing on the bottom of the individual cells. On no account should you pull on the stems of the plants. To do so is to risk severing the top from the bottom, and action not favourable to plant growth.

planting flower bed

Try to plant on a cloudy, windless day or in the evening. If it's hot, protect the little plant from the sun and wind of a couple of days. An upturned basket or shingles stuck in the ground to form a lean- to will help. I've even made tents of newspaper, weighting the edges with soil.

Watering the plants in with a solution of soluble organic fertiliser is a big help in keeping them actively growing. Leave a little basic around the plant to catch water, and keep the soil continuously moist.

As the summer goes on, sandy soils may run out of nitrogen. You'll know it because plant growth will slow and the plants may go off color. Watch especially for yellowing lower leaves.

To replace the nitrogen, side dress with a bit of 10-6-4 or a liquid organic fertiliser or manure tea.

Give them a constant supply of nutrients. Keep their soil moist, and keep the weeds down. With that minimal care, bedding annuals will bloom their little hearts out for you all the way to frost.


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